Table Tennis has played a huge part in my life and in many ways I owe my success to the sport
Table Tennis coaching for kids begins with nurturing your child’s learning process
If your son or daughter has shown some ability or dare I say it “talent”, for the game, the next step would be to get a good coach for further development.
Finding a good table tennis coach for your son or daughter can be like walking through a desert looking for water and occasionally you will see a reservoir.
I chose to write this blog in attempt to help players, mum’s and dad’s and even coaches themselves.
Tip 1: Find a club or Academy that has a low player to coach ratio.
There is an abundance of camps, academies, coaches and clubs out there that would all love to have your hard-earned cash. They may even have big names and famous past background playing careers.
However, you need to do your homework and find out if your child will actually be coached by these so called top coaches/players, or is your child in a group of many players overseen by an aspiring young coach who is mentored by a legend but has limited interaction with your child!
Getting a one-on-one lesson if possible it's a great way of advancing your child’s game. Of course the price will depend on the coach which is dependent on location, past and present success. The advantages of a private coach are the same as in a school classroom; the one-to-one ratio ensures the teachers full attention and causes your child to focus on the teacher and their learning, not his/her classmates. Sometimes A two-to-one or three-to-one lesson can be even better, as the players may feed off of one another but beyond that the learning becomes decreased.
Therefore if your child is in a big group constantly their growth in development is reduced unless there is a ratio of max 1-8 players.
Tip 2: Find a self-developing coach.
If you have decided to appoint a coach on a 1-2-1 or small group lessons, you need to discern which coach is the right one for your child.
How to evaluate a good coach? Look at his/her resume and find out where they have coached, who have they coached, have they developed and moulded their coaching style over the years to keep up with the modern game?
DO NOT evaluate a coach form his/her qualification. Why? ‘you ask’ would you take a brain surgeon with the highest marks in England for his PHD and he has only done one surgery? or would you take a surgeon lower level PHD marks with 20 years of experience and 500 successful surgeries under his belt? The answer should be clear..
Qualification gives the fundamentals and in a certain aspect grants permission to do what you do in your field, it does not state your level of coaching ability.
Tip 3: Sometimes what you see is what you think!
By this I mean, does the coach keep him or herself in good condition physically?
Does he or she play regularly?
Why does this matter? well for several reasons: (there are exceptions of course)
Tip 4: Watch the coach in action.
If you are allowed ask a coach when there next training session is on and go have a look, watch them in action. If they have video tutorials on YouTube have a watch and see if you like their coaching style.
Tip 5: Your child’s perspective
Everyone is different and we all respond differently to things, therefore a simple recommendation is to ask your child what they thought of the coach? Often, they know if the coach is right for them.
A good coach in most cases will be able to adapt to that child’s specific needs, character and learning style.
Tip 6: The Past has gone, the future is not here yet, so focus on the present
A club or Academy’s past is irrelevant, it’s a guide but does not determine the present state and the prospect of its future. Therefore, I recommend looking at the history of the coach and his environment and using that as a guide line. But more importantly look at what the coach is saying and doing, are they ambitious are they driven and do they still possess passion?
Simple questions would be:
What’s your goals?
How long do you expect to be at this club?
What drives you?
I hope this has been a useful insight for people looking at getting a coach.